With just one female retained firefighter based at Leighton’s Fire Station it’s no wonder the crew is appealing for more women to join the brigade.
Standing at just 5ft 3ins and weighing a mere 7st 7lbs, retained firefighter Amanda King says the upcoming coffee morning at the town’s station is the perfect opportunity for any ladies interested in finding out more information in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
The 30-year-old mum-of-two who lives on Stanbridge Road, Leighton, says she gets the “best of both worlds” working in the fire service, working full-time at her day job, and being a mum-of-two.
Amanda said: “I always wanted to be a firefighter, ever since I was little.
“My friends say to me, ‘I don’t know how you do it’, but I don’t look at it like that.
“I’m helping people, yes, but you couldn’t get up everyday thinking that because it would be like you’re praising yourself all the time.
“But I was at one of my colleague’s wedding and it turned out that a pregnant lady I helped save after an RTC was there and she said ‘you don’t think you will realise, but you played a large part in my life and I want to thank you for that.”
As the only female in her station, Amanda hopes that women aren’t put off signing up because they think of the job as a stereotypically male role.
“I wanted to prove everyone wrong and be able to say I could do it.
“They said I was too small and not strong enough, but I keep myself fit.
“I am good at talking and when these people are in these kind of situations, that’s what they need, someone talking rubbish to them so they don’t panic.
“I also think that people are more likely to come to me if I’m a woman – and also I fit through little windows!
“There’s a lot of banter with me being the only one here, but I give as good as I get.
“And I get the best of both worlds; to be at home and a mother to my children at the same time as being able to help people.”
Station Commander, Andy Horner, who has been a fireman for 23 years, said: “We are always looking to recruit within the local community.
“It is a diverse job and it keeps your really fit and mentally active.
“It’s the fact that your job means you could be called to a road traffic collision and have the ability to save a person’s life.”
The event will run from Leighton’s fire station on Duncombe Drive between 11am and 2pm on Wednesday, March 26.